How to Remain Healthy, Calm, and Productive on Event Days
All jobs have their stressful moments. It’s part of the job – the ups and down. However, it is inarguable that some jobs are more stressful than others. Firefighter. Police officer. Enlisted military personnel. Airline pilot. Event coordinator.
Event coordinator? Yes, in fact, this career is repeatedly on “The Most Stressful Career of the Year” lists.
Don’t know what happened in 2015, but otherwise, event coordinator usually resides right in the middle of the top 10 most stressful careers. Other jobs on the list have people shooting at them or lives are at stake.
However, while event coordinator may not literally be life or death, it frequently feels like it. There are so many deadlines that have to be hit, so many things that have to occur before the next part can happen, so many eyes on the final product. Unexpected complications always arise, and all the while, you need to appear composed and together. When things go wrong, you need to have the answers – while remaining composed and together.
Still, you love the job. The rush of organizing an event, managing it on-site, and then the decompression of completing it is an amazing feeling – one that can be replicated with each new job.
But that doesn’t mean that a 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour adrenaline rush is good for you. In fact, taking steps minimizing stress while remaining productive during events is essential.
Here are 7 steps you can take to (hopefully) lower your blood pressure while ensuring your highest level of productivity on event days.
Be ready for anything
This is more of an overall mindset (and likely one that most seasoned event coordinators already embrace – but it is clearly important and worth stating), but with so many elements that have to go right leading up to the event, something is inevitably going to go wrong. It is impossible to predict what or when or how many and how often, but something will go wrong.
Do not let it derail you. Especially when it comes to the day of the event – when all of the attendees are watching. Also, “impossible to predict” does not mean “impossible to plan for.” You can spot the most likely ways where things may break down and have contingency plans in place. Is your event outdoors? Be sure to have a weather contingency in place. How much are you relying on technology? Have a technical plan ready should something go down.
Make sure you and your team are on the same page
This includes everyone – such as vendors and speakers – not just your immediate employees, reach out to make sure that all is going according to plan and that everyone is working from the same playbook. This is not just a simple check in, go through your checklist with everyone. Make sure that all requests have been accommodated and all benchmarks hit.
This will help to give you peace of mind when the show floor starts to become hectic. It will also help you identify anyone who is not pulling his or her weight. If you notice a pattern, it may be an indication of that person not being a fit for your team going forward.
You should be able to assign tasks to your team without feeling like you need to check in every minute. Frankly, you don’t have the time to spare to micromanage, and your team will perform better if you don’t. (Again, if there is a team member that needs micromanagement, maybe that person needs to be on a different team.)
Also, be sure to reach out to sponsors to ensure that they have everything that they need. If they respond with any requests, try to fulfill their needs that day, if possible. Keeping your sponsors happy will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth event.
Use your checklists to your advantage
Having one master checklist of everything that needs to be accomplished for an event is a universal technique of organization. However, there are ways that checklists can be utilized more efficiently.
Break down your big list into several smaller lists. This may actually increase the number of things you need to get done, but it will also increase the number of items you will complete and the sense of accomplishment you achieve with each achievement.
Also, you can compose your lists to help ensure that items pop up when you are at your peak efficiency. For example, if you are a morning person – you can schedule most of your big items to hit at the top of the day, leaving your afternoons free to decompress.
The solution to every problem is to fully understand the problem
It can be very tempting, especially on a busy, hectic, schedule-heavy show floor, to jump in a try to work on a solution to a problem as soon as possible. However, you can’t solve what you don’t fully understand. It is possible to be so focused on finding a solution that you overlook the full complexity of the issue you’re trying to fix. So, be sure you’ve listened and understood all angles of an issue before you attempt to solve anything.
Assign a social media observer
These days often the first indication of a significant issue will appear on social media. Also, this is how the entire planet learns about the major issue that just occurred at your event. Assign someone to watch social media to monitor how people are reacting to your event. Go through scenarios with this person so they understand what can be fixed with a pithy response and what issues need to be escalated up the ladder.
Streamline where you can
There are plenty of ways to streamline and automate tasks. For instance, check-in kiosks free up you and your staff to focus on other areas of the event.
Don’t be afraid of new technologies that can help your staff overcome burdensome tasks.
Day(s) of the event
Try to get enough sleep. This is often difficult, but you will be in a better mood and able to respond to any issue when you are adequately rested.
Choose outfits that are comfortable, and you feel comfortable in. You are going to spend all day in those clothes, so they need to look nice while still accommodating the fact that you may need to get from one end of the venue to the other quickly.
Don’t skip meals. Show days are busy and time flies. The easiest thing to forget about is your physical needs. However, just as getting enough sleep is essential, so is maintaining your nutrition. Your body needs healthy fuel to be at its best, so give yourself enough time to eat a balanced meal. If nothing else, pack a few energy bars in your bag to munch on when you need an extra boost.
In the same vein, be sure to drink enough water. Again, on show days, you are often hustling throughout a venue. Be sure to drink enough water to remain hydrated.
It can also help to work with a professional and knowledgeable partner. We’ll help ensure that your events occur as stress-free as possible. Give Event Architecture a call at 972-323-9433 to discover how we can help you.